Vladimír Židlický /1945/ is a major figure on the European art scene. He experiments with the heritage of classic art disciplines. The meticulous care he has devoted to work with photographic prints, whether in small-scale or monumental formats, clearly links up with the legacy of the pictorial tradition of photography. In his approach, he bases himself upon history-proven methods of refining tonality, at the same time employing test prints and drawing on the transparency of different structures, and not hesitating to finish his artifacts by way of partial destruction of their pictorial form. By no means as contradictory as it would appear, he enhances the impact of his figure compositions featuring motifs of nudity with incalculable effects invoked by various interventions into matrices, including notably cutting into the emulsion of negatives or even taking out their sections. He then engages in painterly incursions into the force field of the prints. Apart from apocalyptic visions in his work from the 1970s onward, a line of photographs vibrant with the dynamism of the artist´s treatment of light emerged. Many of them are mesmerizing, sovereign drawings executed in the camera´s angle of view in the course of a prolonged yet single-shot duration of exposure. Against the backdrop of 21st-century digital options, Židlický turns to the classic tintype method, a truly ancient technique seeing its last heyday in the Czech lands towards the close of the 19th century. Thus, after decades of dominance of direct transfer of negative to print, Židlický developed multiple ways of escaping the descriptiveness standard in the nude and landscape genres. Without ceding echoes of his abstraction-oriented painterly base, he has simultaneously drawn, since the 1970s, on the naturalist attributes intrinsic to the photographic medium. Consequently, the relevance of his works derives as much from the qualities of their execution, as from the suggestive urgency of their themes. Židlický´s works therefore never overlap into decorativeness, much rather leaving the spectator baffled.
Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Čunovo, SlovenskoPrice